Unearthing the Metal Underground: The Montana Scene
Band Photo: At Home In Hell (?)
Each week with Unearthing the Metal Underground we provide a new batch of bands that aren’t signed to a major label and are making a name for themselves in the underground. This week I’ll be digging into three very different bands in the Montana scene. Although heavy metal is sparse in Montana, there are still a few bands who carry the torch of their respective sub-genres for the fanatics who need their live show fix.
Sometimes the little guy can put on just as much of a show as the household names in metal. Hardcore metallers At Home In Hell have gone out of their way to develop their own unique stage presence and give the best experience possible at every venue they play, from small bars to full scale concerts. The band utilizes strobe lights, black lights, and their own custom costumes to give a very distinct appearance. The band recently came back after an extended break to put on a show to raise funds for the recording of their new full-length album “In Home Hell.” At Home In Hell’s music combines industrial sound effects and samples with aggressive guitar work and screaming vocals to get the audience riled up and ready to break something. One of the high points of their music is the wide range the vocalist displays, as he switches from hardcore shouts, low death growls, and tortured screams with ease. My video interview with the band can be found here. Samples of At Home In Hell’s music can be found at this location.
Rachid of one man metal act Zebulon Kosted is a well known figure in the Montana metal scene. Championing the underground for a decade, Zebulon Kosted has released a truly absurd number of splits, albums, and demos as cassette tapes, CDs, and digital downloads. Pinning down the musician’s sound is an exercise in futility, as nearly every release has something radically different than the last. The base of Zebulon Kosted’s releases is ambience and experimental black metal however, so his music has a lot to offer for anyone who likes the lo-fi sound. Samples of the band's entire musical spectrum can be found at the official MySpace page.
Switch off Safety is another staple of the local metal scene. Combining hardcore elements and sound effects with their heavily distorted thrash guitars, the band knows how to keep the fists pumping and the heads banging, even over comparatively longer songs. Although the vocal range on the songs is limited, the gravelly shouts and yells make the songs more catchy and easy to scream along with. Switch Off Safety’s music samples can be found here.
Certainly there are more quality metal bands in Montana. So if you'd like to recommend some other good underground Montana metal bands, please feel free to discuss them in the comments below.
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